Marisa: Can you keep a secret?
Caroline: Yes of course.
Marisa: Good. So can I.
Maid in Manhattan 2002
This is a corollary to the our last tip about going to parents or older relatives for advice. There are times when your spouse is going to drive you nuts and you will want to vent about your spouse, when that time comes, make sure you don’t do that venting to friends, particularly in a group.
There is nothing that will start the seeds of trouble in a marriage that gossip about a spouse, and there is no secret less likely to be kept than gossip made about a spouse with a group of friends
One of the best bits of advice I ever heard came from my former radio co-host Joe Mangicotti on the subject of gossip reminding people that the problem with gossiping about people when you’re with a group is sooner or later you will leave the table and the subject of the gossip will be about you. (An example of this literally took place a few minutes ago while I was finishing a previous column in this series while dining out in an intimate public place. One person commented on the longevity of their marriage and as soon as said person left a company of comments concerning said person’s infidelities was the public talk of everyone around me.)
Gossip within a group or even with a friends has an excellent chance of spreading, particularly in the social media age, back to a spouse who will not be amused to be used as a punching bag in front of other people. It also has the real potential to backfire on you within said group as well or to cause members of the group to treat your spouse differently which will only add to tensions that exist.
This is one of the easiest ways to break trust and one of the hardest to repair later.
So do yourself a favor, if you’re out with the boys and/or girls and your angry with your spouse about something keep it under your hat and if you aren’t capable of doing so postpone that night out for another time.
Your marriage will thank you for it.
The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far